Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 4/9-4/16

India builds another strategic tunnel for troop deployment in Occupied Kashmir Akin to ‘Apartheid Road” in Palestine

For the military troops to go rapidly to any location, the Indian government has constructed another crucial link to the towns near the ceasefire line in occupied Kashmir under the disguise of “development.”

The tunnel will provide an access corridor for New Delhi to exert control and terror over occupied Jammu and Kashmir by sending more troops and military equipment whenever it chooses to.

Despite receiving warnings from environmental groups regarding constructing tunnels in the highly seismic zones, which saw a significant earthquake in 2005 & floods in 2014. India is hell-bent on replicating the Israeli model to continue to squash Kashmir’s resistance movement and continue committing war crimes in Kashmir.

The project, announced in 2002 by then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was declared a matter of “national importance” aimed at accelerating the region’s socioeconomic development, promoting national integration, & (more importantly) strengthening India’s “security infrastructure.”

The Indian Army’s Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is responsible for constructing these tunnels. They come under India’s defense ministry.

India has put a great deal of effort and money into the railway project to continue their settler-colonial project.

India is seeking to replicate the Israeli model of occupation by bringing Hindus from other states of India to resettle in the valley. The aim is to transform the region’s demographics permanently and replace the pluralistic Muslim majority state with a settler-colonialism. Additionally, this move will make it easier for their army to establish all-weather connectivity with Kashmir.

“Road connectivity has always been an issue for the army to travel to Kashmir during the winters. Once the railway starts, it will be more convenient for the Indian troops to commute to Kashmir & Ladakh,” said Retired Maj. Gen. S.P. Sinha.

Famous Jamia Masjid Shut Down for Kashmiri Muslims, Amarnath Yatra Extended for Record 62 Days for Hindus

While Kashmiri Muslims have been denied the exercise of their religious practices by repeatedly shutting down the Jamia Masjid, the Amarnath pilgrimage for Hindus from India will be held for a record 62 days this year, covering all of July and August. Last year the Yarta was held for 40 days.

Traditionally, the pilgrimage has been held for 15 days. Using this pilgrimage as a political tool to claim Kashmir and reinforce its Hindu-driven narrative, the Indian government every year sponsors millions of pilgrims into the heartland of Kashmir. During that time, the region of Pahalgam and Sonmarg, as well as the entire route leading up to the destination, becomes inaccessible for local Kashmiri Muslims as it becomes flooded by the Hindu pilgrims.

The region also becomes more militarized than it already is, with Indian armed forces blocking highways for hours for locals to let the Yatris in. It’s commonplace in occupied Kashmir to stop even ambulances and emergency staff during the passage of Hindu Yatris and the Indian military convoys.

Indian Administration in Sopore warns street vendors ahead of Eid

The shops and street sellers in Sopore, in the Baramulla region of north Kashmir, have been warned by the authorities that they would face harsh punishment if they set up booths on the sidewalks and roadways before Eid.

Several shops and booths were destroyed under the disguise of what they call “illegal encroachments.”

The Indian government has routinely and purposefully misrepresented Muslim properties as encroachment so that they are destroyed without any resistance. The government recently launched a massive demolition campaign that left many people’s homes in ruins.

India used the Pulwama attack to blame Pakistan for local electoral gains

During an interview, Satya Pal Malik, the former governor of the now-divided state of Jammu and Kashmir, reflected on his tenure during tumultuous times, including the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A. Malik claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had silenced him when he suggested that the Indian government’s actions had led to the Pulwama attack in south Kashmir. The attack, allegedly carried out by a freedom fighter driving an explosive-laden car, resulted in the deaths of 40 CRPF personnel.

He described the Pulwama incident as the consequence of a complete misunderstanding of the Indian system, particularly the home ministry. He said that despite the CRPF’s request for planes to carry occupational forces to Kashmir, the Home Ministry refused.

His admission that Pakistan was being blamed for the attack to help the BJP win more votes was the biggest revelation of how India can sacrifice their people to win elections. Malik said that PM Modi and NSA Director Ajit Doval instructed him to keep quiet about the Pulwama attack’s intelligence and system failures.

Three resistance fighters trapped in Shopian

A firefight broke out between the occupying army forces and the resistance fighters in the Chakoora area of South Kashmir’s Shopian district. A joint team of Indian occupational forces, including police, Army, and CRPF, after receiving information about the presence of resistance fighters, launched a search operation in the area.

Locals say that the occupying forces rampaged the area looking for the fighters. To stop them from entering more houses, the fighters fired and engaged them, pulling them out from the residential area and luring them into the woods.

Houseboats struggle to stay afloat as India denies permissions for repair

The Indian government in occupied Kashmir has a policy to deny residents the right to safeguard their property. Therefore owners of the majority of houseboats struggle to obtain authorization even for carrying out routine maintenance. As a result, the High Court’s directions barring any further growth in the number of houseboats in Dal and Nigeen lakes have left the houseboat builders facing unemployment.

A well-known artisan named Abdul Khaliq Najar claimed that despite having built over 50 houseboats, he had had little to no work in recent years. He blamed the decline in his livelihood on the lack of authorization for repairs. Najar claimed that although his ancestors had been carpenters, this was a predicament he had never seen before.

Locals claim this is being done to drive locals from these places by withholding permission for repairs and then granting permission for foreigners to enter the area and claim ownership of land around Dal Lake. Similar operating procedures are also used for hotels in popular tourist destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam.

Echoes of the 1990s: More bodies discovered in river Jhelum in Kashmir

An unidentified body was discovered on Wednesday night in the Baramulla region of North Kashmir near the Jhelum River. The unknown deceased was rushed to a neighboring hospital for medical and legal procedures. Locals reported that the body had visible injuries on it.

Another dead male corpse was discovered on Wednesday night in the Baramulla region of North Kashmir near the Jhelum River. The deceased was identified as Sahaid Ahmad Rather, a Fatehpora inhabitant who was discovered along the River Jhelum Khanpora.

The repeated instance of such corpses reminds the locals of the 1990s when individuals would vanish and be discovered dead in remote areas. There has been an increase in these instances during the past three years. The cause of such mysterious deaths is never found.